I just happened to start my own blog in 2004, the year blogs really took off and the Merriam-Webster dictionary selected the word "blog" as its Word of the Year. By then I'd already been reading James Lileks' blog, The Bleat, for a number of years. I'd also posted a little on H2G2 and Diaryland, but it wasn't until I learned how to use TypePad for work that I got serious about maintaining a regular blog of my own.
Of course, the minute the general public started hearing about blogs more frequently, various language snots decided they hated the word and wanted to banish it from use. I think "blog" is a perfectly reasonable truncation of the more awkward "weblog." It's THE commonly agreed-upon name for the phenomenon. I'm sorry, but you don't get to decide to change something's right name just because you don't like the way the word feels in your mouth when you say it.
Then the Pew Internet & American Life study results came out that revealed that "62% of internet users do not know what a blog is." I think, deep down, every blogger suspected as much. It accounts for all of those friends and relatives who know we "have a website" but have never been there. Maybe they're the same people who think there's nothing on the internet but p0rn, so they don't visit our blogs because they're afraid they'll see nekkid pictures of us.
I've thought long and hard about whether Average Jane should change, mainly because personal journal blogs are the red-headed stepchildren of the medium. I came to the conclusion that it's fine the way it is. I use it as a daily writing warm-up before work and the subjects open to me are as unlimited as my sleep-befuddled brain can stretch.
I'm glad to have found such an interesting collection of daily blog reads (see right column and scroll down) and I look forward to adding to the list in 2005. I'm also pleased to have watched my readership inch up to an average of 62 people per day (don't laugh, Charlie). I know many of them came from Google searches about betta fish, cranberry sauce recipes and prom dresses (and see, I'm making it worse!), but I'm grateful for everyone who's stumbled across the site and come back again to read more. Tell your friends!